Minority governments in Canada

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In Canada's parliamentary system of responsible government, minority governments occur when no party has a majority of seats in the legislature. Typically, but not necessarily, the party with a plurality of seats forms the government. In a minority situation, governments must rely on the support of other parties to stay in power, providing less stability than a majority government. In Canada, political parties rarely form official coalition governments to form a majority.

Canada's plurality voting system means that minority governments are relatively rare in comparison with countries that have a proportional representation voting system. There have, however, been several minority governments at the federal level and in nine of Canada's 10 provinces at various times.

Federal level[edit]

Canada has had 14 minority governments, experiencing its longest period of minority government with three successive minority governments between 2004 and 2011.

Provincial and territorial level[edit]

Of Canada's 10 provinces, only Alberta has never had a minority government. The territories of Northwest Territories and Nunavut do not have political parties and are instead governed under the consensus government system.